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Man began growing cannabis plants in bedroom because he couldn’t get drug during pandemic

Ionut Ciobanu (36) had a “significant addiction” at the time gardaí found €4,500 worth of plants and cannabis in a search at his home.

Ionut Ciobanu pleaded guilty to cultivating cannabis


A man caught growing cannabis plants in his bedroom had turned to cultivating the drug when it became “difficult to come by” during the pandemic.

Ionut Ciobanu (36) had a “significant addiction” at the time gardaí found €4,500 worth of plants and cannabis in a search at his home.

Ciobanu, of Esker Park, Lucan, pleaded guilty to cultivating the drug.

Judge Treasa Kelly gave him a four-month sentence, suspended for a year, but struck out a sale or supply charge after hearing it was “not a commercial enterprise”.

Dublin District Court heard gardaí searched Ciobanu’s bedroom on November 7, 2021, and found €1,368 of cannabis in four glass jars, and plants valued at €3,200 in tents that had been adapted for cultivation. The court heard the valuation made was what the plants would be on maturity.

“Straight out of the gate” Ciobanu had told gardaí what they would find and how they would find it, his solicitor Niall Walsh said.

The majority of the drugs found were for his own use but he accepted he shared it on occasion with other people in the house.

The accused had been on anti-depressants for mental health issues but “didn’t like the way they made him feel”, then made a “very stupid decision with hindsight that he was going to self-medicate”, Mr Walsh said.

During the pandemic, cannabis was more difficult to come by so he decided to cultivate it. He was smoking 25g to 30g of the drug a week at the time.

Ciobanu accepted it was a very large valuation for the district court to deal with but it was not a commercial enterprise and he got a “jolt” from what happened.

The accused, who was now clean, had a diploma in software development and was a constructive member of society, Mr Walsh said.

Judge Kelly said it was a significant amount of drugs but the accused had since made “good strides”.

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